Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 67: hot and dry.

It’s 1.22am (so officially it’s tomorrow not today, but officially I don’t care) and it is extremely warm. It’s like a very hot day, only it’s night. There’s bugger all breeze and I can tell sleeping is going to be difficult. On the upside, the air smells wonderfully of frangipani and jasmine flowers. And I’ve just realised there’s no 8am yoga class on Sundays, so I don’t have to get up quite so early, so sitting up wide awake late into the night isn’t such a big deal. Maybe I can squeeze in a bit more book time before my lids grow heavy. I just started reading Dry by Augusten Burroughs, the autobiographical tale of an advertising copywriter coming to terms with his raging alcoholism. My good friend Jane (like me, also a copywriter) put me onto it. And it’s a compelling read. One might almost say addictive. I ripped through almost half today while first lounging in bed and then lying on Bondi Beach, and I would like to finish the rest before the weekend is out. His antics are certainly making me feel better about my own previous drinking habits (I couldn’t sink a bottle of Dewars Scotch over the course of a month, let alone one every night), but alarmingly too, some of his behaviour echoes things I’ve done in the past. Like drinking my way out of a hangover, only to find myself hung over again the next morning. Or having hurriedly to think up a suitable excuse to explain why I’m so alarmingly late to work (I have done the 12pm wake up on a work day. It’s like the Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction adrenaline shot scene. Suddenly your body and mind registers that usually you are somewhere very different at this time of day and shocks you into horrifying, gasping awakeness.) instead, that is, of the real reason, which is that I got slaughtered the night before. I too have had the joy of a colleague commenting on how much I reek of booze, although that was the day after a big agency party and just about everybody else reeked horribly of booze too. What’s interesting though is that, also like Augusten, at the time of committing these sinful behaviours I and many people around me saw nothing wrong or out of the ordinary in what I was doing. Now however, peering at my former self from the much more fragrant side of the glass, that kind of behaviour seems nothing short of putrid. Only recently I’ve been subjected to the pungent huffings of drunken companions, and it’s not a pleasant noseful. You can literally smell the syrupy turps oozing its way greasily out of people’s skin. It’s pretty foul. And to have it thickening the air of a meeting room while everyone else is crisp white shirts and Listerine? Nasty business that, nasty. It’s funny, as I progress further along this sober line, I am starting to wonder if I will actually want to drink again once this challenge is done. Maybe, like Mr Burroughs, I might actually prefer to stay dry for life.

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